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Future Of The Astrodome

What do you think should happen to the astrodome?  

165 members have voted

  1. 1. What do you think should happen to the astrodome?

    • luxurey hotel
      14
    • demolation
      49
    • mini city
      34
    • historical landmark
      67


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I love this idea because I think that it creates exactly the kind of symbol that we all would like to see this city have. Taking something that was futuristic and innovative at the time that it was built and repurposing it into something that is futuristic and innovative. If it could be developed in a way to utilize the sunken floor, that would mitigate a lot of the cost.

This could also be used as a great festival space which was one of Ed Emmett's earlier ideas.

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An example of where something like this was done is the New York State Pavilion from the 1964-65 New York World's Fair.  It's really not a bad idea.

 

 

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Guess I should have been an architecture student or something, I had this idea years ago.

 

Doesn't mean I don't like the idea any longer, it would be an awesome way to memorialize the stadium.

 

Yeah, we discussed this idea on HAIF.  I like the idea too.  (Still prefer to keep the whole buiding and repurpose it, but if that is not possible, I love the idea of keeping the superstructure.)

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When I saw this yesterday on the news,  I thought to myself - he lurked on HAIF (or is one of us).

 

 

We will know for sure if he adds an oil derrick with Jeff Bagwell astride it.

 

 

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Last April 16th I wrote the following on this thread:

 

Here's my idea. To my mind it seems to be the least expensive (except for just letting the 'Dome crumble into the ground), practical, and mindful of the siginicance of the structure.

Demolish the structure and let the larger part of the ground be used for whatever the powers that be think best but . . .

1) Mark where home plate and the 50-yard-line were (sort of like the home plate of the old 'Buff's stadium in th basement of Finger's furniture store.
Oops! I wonder what the fate of that piece of history is now. (Specwriter 3/28/13)

2) Reserve the ground around those two landmarks for a monument to the memories (notice plural) of the dome. I would move the statue of R. E. "Bob" Smith into this area, add a statue of Judge Hofheinz and build a granite wall somewhat like the one at the Vietnam Memorial in D. C. but not as somber of course. The wall might define the location of the baseball diamond. On one side (probably the 'outside') could be images in relief of notable events held at the 'Dome and on the other side a list of names - a hall of fame, if you will, of notable people who played/performed there. This would include greats from the Astros and Oilers, and other athletes (think Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs) as well as other local entertainers for example, Kenny Rogers and Selena.

Well, it's just a thought. Perhaps I should go looking for my old sketch book and Prismacolors. There's just been too many wonderful things that happened in the 'Dome (even apart from great Astros and Oilers games) not to make some gesture acknowledging those events.

 

Saving the superstructure would be very cool also but might involve quite a bit of expense for restoration and making it more resistant to weathering, e.g. expensive "paint" to protect the steel. Remember, it was originally intended to be protected by the building's "skin." I do especially like Mr. Slattery's idea since it would allow the space to server a variety of functions.

 

What ever is done with the land the 'Dome sits on now I hope the new configuration makes some gesture to all the history that has taken place there. It was much more than baseball and football. For sure don't forget Robert Altman's Brewster McCloud. I heard a reference to that classic cult movie on a recent TV show.

 

BTW, I am also a former graduate student of the UofH College of Architecture (M. Arch 1991). That was before Gerald Hines bought the naming rights.

 

My graduate thesis involved turning the old rail platforms on the east side of Union Station into a multi-modal transportation terminal with the station lobby serving much as it did in the past with other services for commuters like a coffee kiosk, dry cleaners drop-off, pharmacy, etc. That was well before most of us had an idea that the land would become the new ball park and that Houston would have any other mode of public transportation besides busses. I see now, from another thread on HAIF, the idea of a multi-modal transportation center is gaining interest once more.

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100% behind this idea.

If vines and ivy and crap wouldn't completely ruin everything it could look pretty cool grown around the steel.

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This image alone should make people want this.

 

I agree. The Astrodome is a significant structural and mechanical engineering accomplishment as well.

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Yeah, we discussed this idea on HAIF.  I like the idea too.  (Still prefer to keep the whole buiding and repurpose it, but if that is not possible, I love the idea of keeping the superstructure.)

 

Yeah, but after 15 years no one has been able to figure out a way to re-utilize it in any way that makes sense.  If they keep the superstructure maybe someone will have a better idea sometime in the future.

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I don't like the park idea. It seems that's what the city is doing all over. Let's just put a park here. Midtown Superblock idea is now just a park. It seems like a boring idea. Discovery Green was a great idea because it replaced the parking lots that were there before, but when they start talking about doing this in all places, it makes it seem quite drab.

 

Why not something a little more exciting? Like the intermodal station idea with an outdoor public gathering plaza, the largest hotel idea, the indoor ski resort, and what the hell ever happened to the movie studio idea of 2009/2010 timeframe? I guess a park is the next best thing from a parking lot though. I just don't want all of our landmark areas to be parks. Pretty soon, we're going to be know as graseland city. Parks can be overdone too!

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I don't like the park idea. It seems that's what the city is doing all over. Let's just put a park here. Midtown Superblock idea is now just a park. It seems like a boring idea. Discovery Green was a great idea because it replaced the parking lots that were there before, but when they start talking about doing this in all places, it makes it seem quite drab.

 

Why not something a little more exciting? Like the intermodal station idea with an outdoor public gathering plaza, the largest hotel idea, the indoor ski resort, and what the hell ever happened to the movie studio idea of 2009/2010 timeframe? I guess a park is the next best thing from a parking lot though. I just don't want all of our landmark areas to be parks. Pretty soon, we're going to be know as graseland city. Parks can be overdone too!

 

I don't know, when you just say park, it does sound really boring.

 

But, when you say vines and ivy, and lots of hanging plants from the superstructure (how awesome would it be to have trees floating in the air where the hanging speakers were, for example), you start getting into something that would be absolutely unique to Houston.

 

And with the right lighting on everything, this would be an amazing night time spot.

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I don't know, when you just say park, it does sound really boring.

But, when you say vines and ivy, and lots of hanging plants from the superstructure (how awesome would it be to have trees floating in the air where the hanging speakers were, for example), you start getting into something that would be absolutely unique to Houston.

And with the right lighting on everything, this would be an amazing night time spot.

I agree. Could be an amazing performance space also. You could rig a sound and lighting system unlike any other outdoor amphitheater.

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I agree. Could be an amazing performance space also. You could rig a sound and lighting system unlike any other outdoor amphitheater.

 

It could be all these things. A "park" doesn't have to be just grass and trees. Ryan Slatterly's proposal may be my favorite so far. Although, if you added one thing, it might actually work. Build parking under the park. \

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I agree. Stupid place for a park. Especially if you have to pay $20 to park next to the park. 

 

Sounds A LOT like the many many posts in the Discovery Green thread during its planning and construction.

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I agree. Could be an amazing performance space also. You could rig a sound and lighting system unlike any other outdoor amphitheater.

 

And bring Jean Michel Jarre for the first concert.

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That slightly mischaracterizes it, I think. USC has apparently approached HCSCC with an "idea". They are gonna vote on whether to agree to a nondisclosure agreement in order to hear the idea(s) USC claims to have.

Ah ok. I wasn't quite understanding what they were trying to say

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NDA? Are they afraid someone's going to steal their idea? How lame is that :unamused:

 

Agreed. I was confused by the NDA logic as well. Aren't the meetings public information anyway?

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My guess is that they don't want to go public with what might be a shot-in-the-dark or crummy idea. If HCSCC's initial appraisal of it deems it worthy of consideration, they'll probably release them from the NDA provisions to allow them to go public with it. If not, we probably won't hear any more.

 

What confuses me is... Which actual entity at USC is putting forth a proposal? USC is an educational institution. I can see a USC architecture student team - or even a faculty cohort - doing this, but that's not 'USC'.

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I really like the idea of preserving the dome and love the idea of a STEM museum. There's a big part of me though that wonders whether a STEM museum would be better situated in a development of the NASA site in Clear Lake. I know that it's further from the city and the rest of the museum district, but I would think that there could be a really nice connection/integration with the space program.

Edited by livincinco

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They should only preserve the frame and put a nice artificial park with pond and all (all already suggested) but add LEDs to the the frame and lights to have the same effect the Eiffel Tower has. Every hour a light display, twinkling, etc.

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They should only preserve the frame and put a nice artificial park with pond and all (all already suggested) but add LEDs to the the frame and lights to have the same effect the Eiffel Tower has. Every hour a light display, twinkling, etc.[/quote ]

Then it could become our Coliseum and eventually Yanni might play there... Or was that the Acropolis? :)

Edited by Andrew Broadfoot

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is it too late to make the Dome a national historic landmark?

 

It fits the criteria for sure, I wonder how fast the process takes, so if the county says the best way forward is to demolish, would citizens be able to get it on the NHL before they could demo?

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Quick, does anyone know if destroyed would it have to be dismantled or imploded?!

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Quick, does anyone know if destroyed would it have to be dismantled or imploded?!

The reason I asked is because my idea is more feasible if it needs to be dismantled.

It's a piggyback idea of the skeleton model. It would also require the Texans and rodeo to buy in and take the lead because it won't be any kind of cash cow, but it will bring another dimension to Reliant Park and to tailgating and rodeo events. However, I do think it could help bring in more revenue.

Okay already...no drum roll needed: it needs to be stripped more than the UH student proposal - more like the Eiffel Tower. Fill in the hole and make a parking lot on the surface. Options For the roof include keeping the roof as is, restoring the entire roof to its original translucent panels or stripping it and covering it with an ivy. The main idea is preserving only the core structure(supporting beams only) and most importantly allowing the surface to still be used as parking. The roof or ivy will provide shade and protection from other adverse weather, not to mention being underneath the historic Astrodome, therefore allowing the Texans to charge a premium for this location. This preserves the Dome and still allows them to profit from fit. The rodeo would benefit from protection from most adverse weather, too.

This preserves it and still allows the Texans and the rodeo to make practical use out of the space.

Hopefully I didn't just repeat an idea already presented. Of course this is only a pipe dream if the Texans and Rodeo don't support it since nobody is going to give money for this.

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So is the county going to release all of the proposals that are submitted, or just the ones that it deems viable?

 

I ask, because I have to wonder if there is a submitted proposal that doesn't have any real backing (I'm thinking the strip it to the skeleton idea) but would have the support of the people, and maybe get some financial backing from philanthropists who just want to have their name attached to something good for the city.

 

If there was ever a time for the county to be completely open, it would be now.

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So is the county going to release all of the proposals that are submitted, or just the ones that it deems viable?

I ask, because I have to wonder if there is a submitted proposal that doesn't have any real backing (I'm thinking the strip it to the skeleton idea) but would have the support of the people, and maybe get some financial backing from philanthropists who just want to have their name attached to something good for the city.

If there was ever a time for the county to be completely open, it would be now.

So they made decisions today and that can't release their results?

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So they made decisions today and that can't release their results?

 

The deadline for submissions was yesterday.

 

They'll review them and choose the best one for the ballot for a yes/no in November.

 

I'm sure the question will be "vote yes if you want to keep paying maintenance costs on the dome, or no, if you want to transform it into a revenue generating venue"

 

where they won't say that the revenue generating venue is a parking lot  :angry2:

 

This of course, is just my suspicion, we'll see how my sooth saying capabilities work out.

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They'll review them and choose the best one for the ballot for a yes/no in November.

Two questions:

1: Do they have to put something on the ballot or can they go forward without it?

2: What's the deadline to submit something for the ballot (i.e. when might we know what the decision is)?

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Two questions:

1: Do they have to put something on the ballot or can they go forward without it?

2: What's the deadline to submit something for the ballot (i.e. when might we know what the decision is)?

 

here's the chron article from yesterday that outlines the timeline:

 

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Deadline-nears-for-Astrodome-4587827.php

 

 

June 19: Sports Corporation's board meeting, where staff will reveal a public plan for the stadium and the board will vote on what proposals to bring to Harris County Commissioners Court for consideration.

June 25: Commissioners Court capital projects meeting, where the Sports Corp. will present ideas on what do to with the dome.

November 5: The next election, when an Astrodome renovation project could end up on the ballot so Harris County voters can decide its fate.

 

of course, in italics, it might not even be up for a vote? Hell, even if it is, who's to say that they'll listen to the people anyway, Mayor Parker and other Harris county officials have said in the past they would ignore the will of the voter if they didn't like the vote (specifically the metro funding), so I don't expect it to matter anyway.

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is it too late to make the Dome a national historic landmark?

It fits the criteria for sure, I wonder how fast the process takes, so if the county says the best way forward is to demolish, would citizens be able to get it on the NHL before they could demo?

I read in the chron yesterday that a couple of folks are trying to do just that.

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I read in the chron yesterday that a couple of folks are trying to do just that.

 

I hope it doesn't have to come to that, but if it does, I'm glad someone's working on it.

 

I saw the article in today's chron that they got 19 submissions, but won't go public with them until the 19th.

 

http://www.chron.com/default/article/19-ideas-submitted-for-Dome-redo-4593723.php

 

some of the ideas are in there.

 

I like the ski dome idea, it would be interesting to watch skiers coming down from all sides to meet in the middle.

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I like the ski dome idea, it would be interesting to watch skiers coming down from all sides to meet in the middle.

 

Can someone clarify the ski dome idea? Would they be on real snow, or a fake/plastic type of material? I keep hearing about this concept but never heard more details on it and how it would work.

 

I'm still in favor of stripping it to the frame and making a park under it.

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I like the ski dome idea, it would be interesting to watch skiers coming down from all sides to meet in the middle.

Something like Ski Dubai?

ski-dubai.jpg

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This just in...


JUDGE EMMETT PRAISES ASTRODOME PROPOSAL
RECOMMENDED BY SPORTS CORPORATION
Plan to Restore and Reuse Astrodome Could Help Make County
The 'Events Capital of the World'

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett praised a proposal unveiled today by the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation to renovate and rehabilitate Harris County's fabled Astrodome and convert it to a state-of-the-art conference and exposition center capable of hosting a large number of sports, convention or community events.

"The concept is excellent," Emmett said. "It not only preserves an iconic structure, but it gives Houston and Harris County a truly unique and historic venue for conferences and events. Meeting planners around the world will want to use the space."

Emmett said the idea of clearing the interior of the county-owned Dome to create a 350,000-square-foot, open and air-conditioned meeting space within Reliant Park perfectly complements the venue's other tenants - the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and the Houston Texans - while providing unique facilities for other functions such as sporting events, expositions, festivals and major community events.

The Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation approved the proposal at its monthly meeting this afternoon and will officially present its recommendation to Harris County Commissioners Court at the court's Capital Improvements Hearing at 9 a.m. on June 25. Emmett and other court members have met with members of the sports corporation and been briefed throughout the process. 

"It has taken a long time to get to this point," Emmett said. "But I believe the concept for repurposing the Astrodome will give us a facility that will garner much attention and will make us the events capital of the world."

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